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Danny Too
11-07-1994, 01:02 PM
I have been asked to be a possible expert witness in a lawsuit involving
a whiplash inury due to a low impact car crash. Before making any kind
of a decision to be involved, I need more information (since I have not
done this before).

I know I am not the first biomechanist to be asked to be an expert
witness and I know I will not be the last. I will post any responses I
receive (unless the responder requests anonymity), and hopefully it will
help someone else out there who may be asked to be an expert witness.

Here is the scenario.

A girl in a small car exits a freeway, stops at a light, is rear ended
by a truck, and claims to have whiplash injury. The medical report
substantiates the whiplash injury, but there is no bumper damage to either
vehicle.

Any opinions regarding this scenario is welcomed.

I know I will need information regarding the mass of the truck and car,
the velocity of the truck at impact, the velocities of the vehicles after
impact, the transfer of momentum, the coefficient of friction, etc. But
I need additional information that I don't have (and not sure where to
best locate it efficiently)

1. Are there any studies out there involving low impact crashes?
2. Is there any information out there on the types of speed of crashes
into stationary objects that could cause a whiplash injury?
3. What is generally the contact time ofthe vehicles (into each other)
in collisions of this sort?
4. What kinds of G forces or accelerative forces occur to the car that
is being struck from the rear?
5. What kinds of forces is needed to accelerate the head back to cause a
whiplash injury?
6. What kinds of data is available on bumper damage at low impact speeds
and what is the possibility and probability of whiplash injury without
any bumper damage (especially with very well designed bumpers)?
7. What kinds of accelerative (or decelerative) forces have been
measured and recorded on crash dummies during low impact speeds?
8. What kinds of accelerative forces can the neck flexors and extensors
withstand and still stabilize the head when expecting an impact and when
not expecting one?
9. What is the most expedient and efficient way one would go about
determining whether it is possible to get a whiplash injury from a
low impact crash of this nature?

I do not believe in "re-inventing the wheel" if there are experts out
there (and I am sure there are) who can provide me with this information
(or at least provide leads and/or references).

Any suggestions, opinions, insights, leads, references, discussion,
input, and comments that would provide me with information and guidance
regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated (and of course, I will
post any responses I receive)

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* Danny Too, Ph.D. Phone: (702)-895-4875 *
* University of Nevada Las Vegas Fax: (702)-895-4231 *
* 4505 Maryland Parkway E-mail: dtoo@nevada.edu *
* Las Vegas, NV 89154-3034 *
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